17 January 2013

Nigeria: CBN Withdraws Operating Licences of 236 BDCs

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Wednesday announced the revocation of the operating licences of 236 Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators.

The apex bank stated this in a circular with reference number: "TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/041," dated January 15, 2013, a copy of which was posted on its website.

Although the circular titled: "Revocation of Operating Licenses of 236 BDCs," did not state the reason(s) why the apex bank took the action, THISDAY however gathered that they were punished for contravening Section 3.5 of the CBN BDC Guidelines, which stipulates that every BDC shall have a mandatory caution deposit of $20,000 with the bank.

Some of the operators affected were: A.F. A BDC, A.I.A BDC, Acclaim BDC, African Shelter BDC, Afrinvest BDC, All Africa BDC, Bedford BDC, Bellview Travels Nigeria Limited BDC, CCP BDC, Cedar BDC, Celtic Finance Limited BDC, Faith BDC, Fairex BDC, FCT BDC, amongst others.

"Consequently, all authorised dealers/buyers and the general public are advised that with effect from January 14, 2013, any forex transaction, including sale to and purchases from these BDCs as well as transfer offered through them or on their behalf is illegal," the banking sector watchdog warned.

The affected firms were also directed to surrender their licences to the nearest CBN office.

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